According to the Decision on the Network of National Institutions in the Field of Culture (2003) there are 51 national institutions that can be considered as major cultural institutions. They all are legally independent but financed (nearly 100%) by the Ministry of Culture (salaries, running costs, programmes etc.). The Minister of Culture appoints the directors based on a public competition.
Of particular importance was the collaboration between the current Ministry of Culture and the Open Society Institute – Macedonia (FOSIM) to support the process of decentralisation and to support programmes carried out in cultural centres, the training of museum staff and electronic publishing and translation. However, in June 2005, FOSIM announced that it will focus on other priorities (civil society, education, women, publishing, media, law, public administration etc.) and will gradually cut support to cultural programmes, especially the programme on research and debate on cultural policy. The explanation broadcasted by the media was that the Ministry of Culture did not consider the debates and their effects on the current national policy to be significant.